By Santiago Villanueva Durán and Firm:  Basham, Ringe y Correa, S.C.(Mexico City)

This article sets out the procedure when an employee has coronavirus symptoms in Mexico and how they can obtain a wage subsidy during their illness, convalescence during quarantine.

In Mexico, the Social Security Mexican Institute (IMSS) is the authority in charge of providing employee health services, medical assistance, protecting subsistence and social services for individual and collective wellbeing, as well as granting pensions that will be guaranteed by the Mexican Federal Government.

In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic and in accordance with the regulations on social security, when an employee is diagnosed as having symptoms of Covid-19 by a hospital or medical institution affiliated with the IMSS, she/he must answer a questionnaire and if the result qualifies her/him as a probable Covid-19 case, the institution will prescribe a Covid-19 test.

If the test result is positive, a relative of the employee can deliver that information to the IMSS Clinic which will issue a General Illness Insurance certificate of disability. This is provided to the employee by the IMSS.

This General Illness Insurance certificate of disability issued by the IMSS must also be delivered by the employee's relative to the HR department of her/his workplace to record the employee’s absence from work. The certificate will also be used for obtaining payment of the economic subsidies payable to workers who cannot work because of coronavirus from the IMSS.

The employee will receive a ‘Covid Permssion’ to be absent from work for 14 days and the IMSS will grant her/him an initial subsidy equivalent to 60% of her/his salary during that period.

After the initial 14 days, if the employee continues to be unwell with Covid-19, the IMSS will issue a certificate of illness disability to cover the period during which the employee is recovering. In this case IMSS will also grant a subsidy for this disability equivalent to 60% of the employee’s salary.